First Author®

This special education writing curriculum transforms students taking the alternate assessment into early communicators capable of expressing themselves. It was designed specifically for students with autism and other complex needs.

Building Bridges through Writing

First Author® is a comprehensive writing curriculum that guides educators to teach beginning writing skills to students with special needs including autism. It helps prepare students for the alternate assessment (including DLM, STAAR, and NCSC). But most importantly, you will help your students see themselves as authors who have the potential to share and communicate with others.

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Comprehensive Writing Instruction

Scripted lessons guide educators step-by-step through the process of teaching writing to students with special needs. It covers a range of abilities from scribbling to writing complete words and paragraphs.

First Author Curriculum Inserts


A comprehensive group of measurement tools monitor writing development, communication, and behavior.

Chart showing First Author Writing Scores assessment

Standards-Based IEP Goals

Guides standards-based IEP goals tied to Common Core State Standards and alternate standards including examples for writing, language, speaking, and listening.

Examples of First Author IEP goals

Classroom Management

Structured classroom time is broken down through mini-lessons (4x/week), writing time (4x/week), and sharing time (Author’s Chair) (1x/week).

Teacher using First Author with students in classroom

Accommodation Strategies

Guides instructional supports for each student including “writing” tools and communication methods.

Three First Author students smile in the classroom

What’s Included

  • Curriculum & Writing Measures Assessment Guide
  • 82 Mini-lessons designed to be repeated with variety
  • Successful Strategy Tip Sheets for teachers
  • Tip Sheets for students
  • 6 Posters to reinforce lessons introduced during Mini-lessons
  • Teacher Tools including assessment forms, teacher fidelity checklist, and other supplemental materials
  • Teacher Resource USB with master copies of student and teacher resource folders, as well as additional content Download our First Author Curriculum Sampler
The assortment of First Author materials including Curriculum Guides, Teacher Tools, Resource USB, etc.

Leading with First Author

First Author® Writing Curriculum Pricing

Check out sample lessons included in our First Author Writing Curriculum Sampler…

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Curriculum Samples


(no credit card required)

The Curriculum Sampler includes sections of the Curriculum Guide to help you become familiar with the philosophy behind this curriculum, as well as two scripted Mini-lessons with student Tip Sheets. It also includes the complete Table of Contents so you can see what topics are included in the complete Curriculum Guide.

Writing Curriculum

Full Curriculum


(item code: P76WRTCURWEB)








Resources & Support

Get the most out of First Author with our how-to guides, video tutorials, and more.

About the Authors

Standards Alignment

The curriculum aligns to the expectations of the new alternate assessments. With First Author Writing Curriculum, you can feel confident that your students are getting the best writing instruction possible and will be prepared to demonstrate their skills.


Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching


DLM Essential Elements


NCSC Core Content Connectors


STAAR Alternate 2


Florida English/Language Arts Access Points

Research Abstract

The Development Writing Scale: A New Progress Monitoring Tool for Beginning Writers” Written by Sturm, Janet M.; Cali, Kathleen; Nelson, Nickola W.; Staskowski, Maureen.   The full article is available for purchase through the Lippincott Williams & Wilkins website.


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